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Used test: Peugeot 5008 vs Seat Tarraco

Buy either of these large and practical seven-seat SUVs at a couple of years old and you'll save yourself some cash, but which one deserves your money?...

Peugeot 5008

The Contenders

Peugeot 5008 Puretech 130 Allure

  • List price when new: £28,645
  • Price today:  £21,000* 
  • Available from: 2018-present

Stylish, comfortable and practical, the 5008 has been a huge success for Peugeot 

Seat Tarraco 1.5 TSI Evo 150 SE Technology

  • List price when new: £29,330
  • Price today: £19,250*
  • Available from: 2018-present

Seat is on a roll with its latest range of SUVs. The seven-seat Tarraco is the brand’s largest.

*Price today is based on a 2018 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

There are those who say that, if you’re going down the SUV route and buying a car for its chunky looks, raised driving position and interior capaciousness, you may as well get yourself a large one. That theme of off-road style and air of toughness is often magnified by such cars' larger proportions, after all, and the seating capacity inside is usually increased, making seating for up to seven a real possibility. 

Buy one used and you’ll save some money, too. Here, we’re pitting two second-hand examples of our favourite large SUVs, the Peugeot 5008 and the Seat Tarraco, against each other. The 5008 has been our What Car? Large SUV of the Year award winner three times in a row, while Seat has really gone to town on its SUVs, with a range of top-notch and good-value offerings that starts with the Ford Fiesta-sized Arona, runs through the highly praised Ateca family SUV and finishes up with this seven-seat Tarraco

So which of these two will suit your lifestyle best, and which makes the best used buy? Read on to find out.  

What are they like to drive? 

In the 5008, entry-level petrol form means a dinky 1.2-litre engine with just three cylinders and 129bhp, whereas in the Tarraco you get a brawnier four-cylinder 1.5 with 148bhp.

2019 Peugeot 5008 front left tracking RHD

It’s pretty obvious which car is the sprightlier performer, then, right? Actually, no: surprisingly, the 5008 proved the faster accelerating car in our tests. The difference is quite small if you’re revving the engine hard and changing up through the gears, but it’s much more noticeable when you’re trying to build speed from low revs.

This makes the 5008 the more relaxing car to drive and also means it feels more in its comfort zone along hilly routes or when you’re loaded up with people and paraphernalia. The only downside is that you feel a few more vibrations filtering up through the soles of your feet when you accelerate; the Tarraco’s engine is slightly smoother.

There’s little to split our duo when it comes to cruising refinement. You hear less tyre noise in the Tarraco at a steady 70mph but more wind noise and engine boom than you do in the 5008. Likewise, although the Tarraco has the slicker gearchange, its numb clutch pedal, combined with the engine’s limited pull below 1500rpm, means you’re much more likely to stall it when pulling away.

Seat Tarraco

Big wheels rarely do ride comfort any favours, and our Tarraco came on the 20in wheels, but even in this form it’s never fractious and actually rides town scars and potholes pretty well. Go for the 18in wheels you’ll more normally get if you seek out a Tarraco with SE Technology trim the ride will be comfier still.

The 5008, which had optional 19in wheels in the form we tested it, is less composed than the Tarraco along town roads; nasty scars aren’t dealt with as well and there’s more pitch and dive when you accelerate and brake, so you can sometimes feel like you’re doing a nodding dog impression. However, things are better if you can find a 5008 with standard 18in wheels, which most of them should be on, and in any case, it’s the more comfortable and settled car at higher speeds – particularly on the motorway.

Compared with some rivals, such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, both are pretty agile through corners. But they’re still big cars, so it comes as no surprise that there’s some body lean in tight turns, and you wouldn’t describe either as fun to drive. The 5008’s steering is heavier at manoeuvring speeds and quicker to respond when you turn the wheel, but both set-ups are precise enough to allow you to place the car exactly where you want it at higher speeds.

 Next: What are they like inside? >

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